Balancing the Budget and The Marijuana Criminal Issue: A Message to Elected Politicians.
by Paul Schroeder
alien / demonic attachment
We have more people prison incarcerated, as a country, than any repressive regime in the world, per capita.
Prisons are our one burgeoning industry.
Very many of our inmates are being held on low level marijuana possession charges.
Specially trained dogs do wonderful things for many criminal investigations, but use of trained police and Homeland Security dogs in this endeavor illuminate an issue of critical importance, a crisis of criminal justice and of the budget, two topics closely related.
Trained drug dogs, clandestinely used by DEA and FBI, can discern even a remote smell of pot, marijuana on a person; during a seemingly random 'walk down the block' an agent, with such a dog, can easily discern one being investigated as one who either smells of pot or has even been near such a person who smokes it.
Later followed, observed and watched for months, these people suffer arrests that come down, most usually for a small amount of such, less than five grams, on average, statistically, of smokeable pot contraband.
California's budget crises forced its now Governor to save considerable expenditures of state money by changing arrest laws and criminal laws for minor marijuana possession to less than a traffic ticket for possession of under an ounce..
Many other states including my own, New York, still arrest, try and incarcerate offenders for small amounts of marijuana.
It costs the State and Federal governments a fortune in police arrests, courts costs and jail expenses, that unnecessarily waste resources in an already diminished budget..
Such 'fishing' by using trained dogs amongst the public, to secure a dog positive' pot signal' towards a suspect, violates rights and freedoms but yearly secures a sharply growing number of such arrests.
The jails of all cities and states are simply filled with such people arrested for small amounts of pot, many of who could also not make bail.
Black and Latino minority arrests make up the predominance of this growing roster of pot busts for small amounts of marijuana, arrests that end up draining our resources..
This clear violation of the "reasonable expectation of privacy" law clause prevails, however, because ostensibly one is out and around, in public.
Hundreds of thousands of arrests and incarcerations for possession of small amounts of pot each year, financially support police and DEA budgets by subsequent seizures and confiscation of these people's vehicles and homes; what should have been a seemingly small criminal offense or no offense, according to current California law, thus ruins many families.
It is virtually impossible, under law, for such a "criminal" to reclaim cars and property, wrongly but officially taken.
This unfair and crazy process involves much additional taxpayer money allocated to cop's salaries; the majority of these small 'busts' require extensive weeks and months of police stakeouts, and these investigations reap police an overtime pay that adds up to expenditures monumentally costly to local, state and federal government.
It's a very easy living for cops.
Nationwide, high expenses in budget costs prevail for these low level pot busts, as many defendants are criminally Federally charged, as well as locally charged.
Prohibition failed, in the 1930's, for the same reasons that these pot laws fail, because of unenforceable; just as there is with pot, today, there was then an abundant prevalence of alcohol everywhere, despite a law that made it illegal to possess one dram of alcohol.
We face a budget reality; legislators can remedy a crisis of trampled civil rights and in so doing greatly assist currently crippled budgets.
Although such savings would be substantial, a stubborn
Homeland Security mentality prevails; a yearly growing number of prosecutions for possession of small amounts of pot, continues to date, unabated.
It makes cops easy salary and retirement pension money.
Pot defendants who possess small amounts are hunted like terrorists, counterfeiters, rapists or foreign nationals.
(Conversely, most pot smoked is USA home grown, in very patriotic form.)
Federal and State prosecution costs add up for courts, lawyers, jails and police, for small amounts of marijuana, with citizen's seized properties, legally unprotected. .
The misuse of drug dogs towards such minor arrests may be arguable but what is not arguable is that the law, as it stands, is not remotely at all justice.
The nation must follow California's footsteps, in a progressive and enlightened step towards balancing failed budgets and a enlightened step towards improving trod upon civil rights.